Viasat’s government business is quick to highlight what the pending sale of its secure data communications products business means as much as it doesn’t mean for satellite network operators.
Viasat’s sale of its Link 16 Tactical Data Links product business to L3Harris Technologies for approximately $2 billion is certainly significant. Viasat co-founder and CEO Mark Dankberg has confirmed to explain the deal and what it means for the company as a whole in this blog post.
So did Craig Miller in an interview Thursday at the United States Army Association conference in Washington, DC.
Viasat’s President of Government Division, Mr Miller, said:
However, as Dankberg wrote and Miller pointed out to me, the fact that L3Harris was a Viasat subcontractor on the side of the MIDS air terminal at Link 16 means that buyers and sellers know very well. was doing.
“They will grow this business and appreciate the real core of this business,” says Miller. “L3Harris will continue to develop this and further accelerate related technology as it is at the core of his L3Harris.”
About Viasat: Miller said the deal represents his employer’s return to broadband satellite communications and the rest of its portfolio of service-based models.
“We did not do this as a signal to exit the defense business,” Miller added.
Viasat has two upcoming milestones that represent major strategic events for the company. This highlights the core of what Miller describes as a sale.
The first launch of a future three-satellite constellation called Viasat-3 is scheduled for early next year, followed by two more satellites that will enter orbit and become operational sometime in 2023.
Miller estimates that the constellation will have nearly 10 times the capacity of the current Viasat-2 network and will add the ability to surge bandwidth into hotspot areas when needed.
Viasat-3 was created for the company over many years with all the design, manufacturing and testing required for this type of network used by governments and private companies.
“This is a transformation for us, because it globalizes us and takes the capabilities that we have in the United States and basically have the equivalent anywhere in the world,” Miller said. Told.
Then there is Viasat’s agreement to acquire fellow satellite communications network operator Inmarsat, first announced in November 2021 and amid an antitrust review.
In a blog post about the sale of Link16, Dankberg said Viasat will have greater financial flexibility to merge with Inmarsat and support other reinvestments in the business.
Dankberg also touted that Inmarsat’s extensive spectrum holdings and L-band satellite constellation offer growth opportunities for Viasat in narrowband satellite services and direct-to-mobile handsets.
Miller said the Viasat and Inmarsat networks have been operating separately for some time since the closure as all parties are working on the integration, but that it is “already very positive” and that the integration is more likely. He said it should be easier to manage.
“You will be left with the option of operating a Viasat satellite or multiple Viasat satellites or multiple Inmarsat satellites almost anywhere on the planet,” said Miller. “By bringing other network operators online and partnering with operators in low earth orbit, we have a very rich and powerful hybrid he network.”
That concept of a hybrid network is also where Viasat’s work in 5G comes into play. Especially regarding how Miller defined it as an extensible network management architecture in his Project 38 episode last year.
So 5G is more than just a spectrum protocol to extend the capabilities of mobile phones.
Viasat has three government contracts for 5G trials under a $600 million Pentagon initiative focused on the technology.
According to Miller, recent awards have asked the company to figure out how 5G can be deployed in places without terrestrial telecommunications infrastructure.
How he answered my question about what the ideal end state might be might help explain Viasat’s focus and what the Department of Defense wants to achieve with its vision of connectivity.
“The ideal end-state would be to go to a place with no terrestrial, telephony or network service, drop one of these 5G stations, and suddenly there would be a 5G bubble around it,” Miller said. I’m here. .
“But it also has a broadband satellite communication backhaul, so you can go out into tough areas where there is no communication and set up a place where you can use your mobile phone to access the Internet.”